Wall of Honor unveiled for Seal of Biliteracy and Pathway Awards

Dec | 2014

The Santa Clara County Board of Education (SCCBOE) honored 12 county school districts and one charter school as partners in the Seal of Biliteracy and Pathway Awards program during a special recognition agenda item at its Dec. 10 meeting. A new Wall of Honor was unveiled, highlighting the initiative and the commitment of county schools in promoting language assets for all students.


State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Reports Jump in Number of Students Earning Seal of Biliteracy

Jul | 2014

Nearly 25,000 graduating high school students across California this summer have earned state recognition for achieving proficiency in multiple languages, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

“Fluency in more than one language has always been an admirable skill, but it’s increasingly becoming one that’s highly sought after by employers,” Torlakson said. “In California, we encourage and recognize this accomplishment because it’s one more tool students have to help them succeed outside our classrooms.”

In the Class of 2014, 24,513 students earned these gold seals. In 2013, the number was 19,000. In 2012—the first year of the program—about 10,000 students received this special recognition.

Of the total number of gold seals, 74.49 percent were for Spanish, 9.81 percent for French, 3.88 percent for Mandarin, 1.97 percent for Japanese, 1.19 percent for German, and 0.29 percent for Cantonese. Altogether, students earned the seal for demonstrating proficiency in some 40 languages, including American Sign Language.

To qualify for the State Seal of Biliteracy, high school graduates must meet certain criteria, including:

  • Completion of all English language arts requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 2.0 or above in those classes;
  • Passing the California Standards Test in English language arts administered in grade eleven at the “proficient” level;
  • Proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English, demonstrated by passing a foreign language Advanced Placement examination with a score of three or higher or an International Baccalaureate examination with a score of four or higher; or
  • Successful completion of a four-year high school course of study in a world language and attainment of an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above in that course of study.

For more information on which local educational agencies participated in the program and how many Seals of Biliteracy were awarded, visit the California Department of Education’s State Seal of Biliteracy – Resources Web page.

District Recognition for Multiple Pathways to Biliteracy Programs Pre K – 12th Grade – AB 2303 (Bloom)

Jul | 2014

The intent of AB 2303 is to honor school districts and county offices of education who have invested in and designed articulated and comprehensive multiple pathways to biliteracy.  AB 2303, does the following:

  • Establishes the State Recognition Program of Multiple Pathways to be administered by the California Department of Education (CDE) for the p urpose of recognizing school districts and county offices of education that voluntarily demonstrate excellence in providing and supporting multiple opportunities for pupils to attain biliteracy in grades preK, Kinder to 12.
  • On or before December 31, 2015, the California Department of Education (CDE) shall plan and design the program and then beginning January 1, 2016 (and annually thereafter) CDE shall disseminate and review applications for recognition under the program. Beginning November 1, 2016 and annually thereafter, CDE shall provide recognition, as specified, to approved school districts and county offices of education.


The California Campaign for Biliteracy is Launched and Two Districts are Honored with a New Prestigious Award

Apr | 2014

In front of 3,500 teachers, administrators, parents and board members at the annual California Association for Bilingual Education Conference, Californians Together announced the beginning of the California Campaign for Biliteracy.  “It is time for a new Campaign across Californian to develop preschool through high school programs that will prepare students with proficiency in two or more languages so they may speak to, from and across multiple communities and nations.
The California Campaign for Biliteracy seeks to engage educators, policy makers ,parents and students who share the vision for multilingualism, and all understand the enormous benefits to individuals, society and the economy
Brownley Puts the California Seal of Biliteracy on the National Stage

Jun | 2013

Representative Julia Brownley (D – Westlake Village) introduced the Biliteracy Education Seal and Teaching (BEST Act, legislation that would help states create a State Seal of Bilteracy to recognize high school students graduating with proficiency in both English and a second language.  The BEST Act would establish a grant program at the Department of Education supporting states to establish and improve their own Biliteracy Seal programs.  Read the press release, the text of the bill and our letter of support below.
Californians Together Earns National Award for Exceptional Immigrant Integration Initiatives

Sep | 2012

WASHINGTON– The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) on Thursday announced that Californians Together is one of four recipients of its 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prize for exceptional immigrant integration initiatives. The national award honors Californians Together for its work promoting biliteracy and reforms that improve student language learning and address the needs of English language learners.  (more)

New York State Seal of Biliteracy – Cuomo Signs Legislation

Aug | 2012

Albany, NY (July 31, 2012)
Governor Cuomo today signed into law a bill to recognize New York State high school graduates who demonstrate academic excellence in attaining proficiency in one or more languages other than English with a state seal of biliteracy. The seal will be attached to diplomas and transcripts of graduates who excel in listening, speaking, reading and writing in multiple languages.”New York state should recognize the outstanding achievements of our students who have dedicated themselves to learning different languages,” Governor Cuomo said.  “Acknowledging those students who haves pushed themselves to do their very best and learn another language will provide them with an advantage when dealing with future employers and academic institutions.”

Torlakson Announces More Than 10,000 Students Earn New State Seal of Biliteracy

Jul | 2012

More than 10,000 graduating high school students across California have earned the first state recognition in the nation for achieving proficiency in multiple languages.  State Superintendent of Instruction, Tom Torlakson, issued a press release today, July 5, 2012, highlighting the accomplishments of the students and the importance of this recognition.